Ruder Finn has formed a new Reputation & Risk Management Practice. The practice will be led by Charles Lankester, who is promoted to executive vice president, global reputation & risk management.
Lankester will be based in Hong Kong, executive vice president Christine Dusek will lead Ruder Finn’s US capability and director of connected communications Robin Grainger will lead in Europe. They will serve as senior advisers to clients and colleagues.
The Reputation & Risk Management Practice will focus on the development of four core business areas: predictive analytics, intelligence, preparedness and precision response.
Kathy Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn CEO, said: “Reputation risk is a primary issue for all our clients and is accelerated by their increasingly international operations and instant social circulation of news, images and data. Corporations now operate in a real-time response environment and traditional ‘crisis management’ techniques, protocols and practices no longer work. Our new practice will disrupt those outdated models to provide our clients with an enriched, forward-looking digital resource that will help them mitigate and manage reputational risk.”
Jean-Michel Dumont, chairman of Ruder Finn Asia, added: “Charles has already developed exciting new thinking, products and services for the firm, including the SONAR social media crisis simulation platform which is highly regarded by both clients and colleagues. With an international career encompassing experience across all geographies, Lankester has represented some of the world’s best known corporations and Governments. He is ideally suited to lead and build our new Practice and will bring innovative thinking and a dynamic management style as we build it into a global leadership position.”
Lankester has been with Ruder Finn since 2014. He added: “With zero divide between new and traditional media, smartphones are the primary news platform, Facebook and Weibo increasingly choose what news we see and reputations are built or lost on a like. In this environment, private and public sector organisations need to ensure they fully understand the evolving threats and opportunities. How can businesses prepare and plan? What lessons can be learned? How concerned should management be? With a badly managed corporate crisis causing irreparable financial and reputational damage, we have identified the themes, behaviors and approaches that will work in 2017 and also those that will fail.”